World Breastfeeding Week ( August 1st to 7th)in more than 120 countries around the world as a reminder of the importance of breast milk for a newborn baby …here we need to notify the importence of breast feeding for new MuMs…A newborn’s stomach is the size of a teaspoon. Newborns require small frequent feeds, not a wedding buffet.
Of course mothers don’t have milk right after delivery. For the first 2-4 days from delivery, they have colostrum, which is different, less in quantity compared to mature milk – because it is meant to be so.
Let’s put ourselves in the skin of a newborn. Just for a minute, because what happens in the first hour of birth is critical for her survival.
The first hour of birth is so precious it is called the ‘golden hour’.
A mother’s colostrum smells very similar to her amniotic fluid, so that her child can recognise it, be guided to the breast and naturally familiarise with breastfeeding and with the external world.
This happens very smoothly when moms and babies are allowed to remain in close and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact for the first one hour after birth.
- More than 45% newborns are not breastfed within the first hour in various Indian states: National Family Health Survey (2015-16)
- Newborns who are not fed mother’s colostrum in the first hour have an 80% higher risk of death as compared to those who are.
- Colostrum: nutrient-dense, antibody-rich, yellow coloured mother’s milk which is released right after delivery. It protects newborns from diarrhoea and respiratory illnesses.